All the Jays.
To explain, we must fire up the Wayback Machine. It’s been almost 18 years since I let my first blog post out into the wild.
A WHOLE NEW WORLD…
After all, I’ve spent the past many weeks preparing, the past several days learning from and meeting with really great people, and much quality time on the road with friends/co-workers. Although I am new to this blogging business I think I’ll be able to dole out something of value from these experiences.
This is the point where you figure out that this is just a “welcome to my new blog!” post masquerading as real material.
We’ll talk again soon. Buh-bye now.Posted on September 14, 2003 at 09:31 PM – Chicago, IL
Yes, I said blogdom. They were simpler times, ok?
It wasn’t long after I let that first post fly that I developed some really bad habits. I was a total flake. I could write. It was fun. People seemed to enjoy what I shared. But I was obsessed with the visual and technical aspects of the blog. I sweat pixels, obsessed over branding, experimented with different platforms, crunched and re-crunched the underlying code. My blog was my sandbox.
I learned a lot. Organizations all over the world started giving me money to create their sites. (Yay, money!) But continually building and blowing up my blog was not conducive to developing a readership. In hindsight, I don’t think I actually wanted to share my ideas with the world. I was enamored with the potential of the technology and wanted to perfect the thing itself.
I also don’t think I really knew what I wanted to say or from what identity I should say it. I hadn’t come to terms with my multipod/polymath wiring. I hadn’t found my voice. My attempts to focus on one subject matter, at the urging of every article ever written on the topic of blogging, felt disingenuous at best and Imposter Syndrome’ish at worst. I’d set out to write as Developer Jay and ultimately feel like I was neglecting Creative Jay. Or I’d write as Creative Jay and feel like I was neglecting Engineer Jay. Then there was Leader Jay, Entrepreneur Jay, Writer Jay, Musician Jay, Family Jay. Way too many Jays and each should have their own blog, if following mainstream blogging wisdom.
I can see now that my inability to reconcile all the Jays was a big contributor to my recurring blog death. This reconciliation was a longtime struggle for me outside of the blogosphere as well. (Blogosphere is such a horrible term I just had to use it. Sorry.) The past few years, I’ve come to realize that I can be developer, creative, engineer, leader, entrepreneur, writer, musician, family, and other Jays simultaneously. It’s the sum of those Jays that makes Jay Jay. Professionally, I’ve found that I’m at my best when I freely pull from each of those buckets rather than try to cram myself into any one of them.
I’ve decided to blog again. This time around, I’m genuinely interested in sharing stuff – stories, ideas, lessons learned, projects, all of it. I’ve also started going back through my scattered blog archives and cherry-picking posts that I like to share or revamp.
All of that to say: